Content Marketing

Leading Marketers Share Their Favorite Takeaway from Content Marketing World 2019

Once again, Magnificent Marketing had the pleasure of attending one of the top marketing conferences around, Content Marketing World 2019. This year was packed with information on content strategy, the role of AI in marketing, the rise of voice marketing, and SO much more. If you’re looking for a recap of the conference, check out what these top marketing influencers said was their best takeaways of Content Marketing World 2019.

41 Experts Share Their Top Takeaways from Content Marketing World 2018

I had a wonderful time attending the  Content Marketing World conference this year. This conference is seriously amazing. Not only is it a good time put on by good people, but you won't find a better line-up of speakers anywhere in the world; and for sure won't find a group of people more knowledgeable about content marketing. We thought it would be great to collaborate the top takeaways from these experts. 

Strategies for Better Content Marketing In 2019

Content is hailed as an undisputed king of the online ream and for good reasons too. The leading brands of today use it as main ammo for marketing weaponry and small organizations are hung up on not lagging behind. What is the all this about? In a nutshell, content marketing costs considerably less than traditional marketing, it generates more leads, and gives a higher ROI.

Interview with E-Commerce Content Marketer and SEO Consultant Bill Widmer

“As far as the fusion of content and SEO, in my eyes, they’re basically one in the same. It’s nearly impossible these days to rank your website without great content on it, and the reason for the content is a lot easier to get backlinks, to then say, a product or category page.” Bill said.  

The Secrets of Chris Abraham’s Marketing Genius

Chris Abraham is a master of the digital marketing field. He’s considered a pioneer in the realms of content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer-generated media, all of which he practiced in the ‘90s.

His expertise in online marketing garnered him a place among Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers in 2012. He also runs his own media marketing agency called Gerris.

Photography and Branding: How to Leverage Your Lifestyle Portraits

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Many brands may not realize the importance of images for capturing their vision or mission statement.

Today, David and John discussed why brands should take photography seriously.

John DeMato is a lifestyle portrait photographer. He has worked with entrepreneurs and thought leaders, by capturing high-quality images that present inspiring, entertaining, and informational elements which entice people to follow a brand.

But it’s not as easy as picking up a camera and snapping a photo.

John is much more than just a photographer – he goes above and beyond.

John sets his clients up for success by educating them on how to effectively leverage their image content for blogs, social channels, publications, websites, advertisements, and other platforms.

The Importance of Building a Connection

With amazing credentials and a stellar reputation, you’d think it’s easy for clients to trust John immediately upon meeting him.

However, trust and comfort are two very different things.

John believes that in order to get amazing shots, it’s important to build a connection and healthy rapport with clients.

Photography isn’t magic – great shots don’t just happen.

As a subject, if you’re working with a photographer that doesn’t make you feel comfortable, the images will reflect that.

John likes to build a nice conversation with lots of back-and-forths to make clients feel as comfortable with him as possible.

This helps with branding as well because it helps give photos a deeper vibe. John mentions that many photographers might be able to capture the right lighting, angle, and create a perfect image, but they lack depth, emotion, and mood.

They don’t accurately represent a brand – they're just great photos.

John says that photography for branding should visually tell your story. Lifestyle photography for a brand should accomplish two goals. It should:

1.       Establish your expertise.

2.       Provide value to potential prospects because you solve their pain points.

According to John, it’s so important to find the right photographer who can capture a wide range of emotion: everything from rage-filled rants to celebrating wins.

John’s Unique Approach that Helps Him Deliver Top Results

John points out that every entrepreneur is in a different place and has different needs.

Far too many entrepreneurs and thought leaders select a lifestyle portrait photographer based on their price tag and portfolio. While the photographer’s work should speak for itself, it’s also important to get along with one another.

A lot of times, a client may not realize what they want until they’re sitting at home looking at the photos later. John’s job as a photographer is to really get to know his clients and ask a lot of questions to figure out where they’re at with their business.

From there, he can maximize the effectiveness of every session.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which questions John might ask to get to know a person because it varies so much. Every entrepreneur has a different vision for their brand, a different personality, and their business is at a different place.

John spends a lot of time getting to know his clients before he even picks up any equipment. In fact, sometimes, his interactions with clients last for two and a half hours. This gives John time to identify the different emotions he’ll need to capture and the types of images he will need to shoot.

It’s therefore crucial for a lifestyle portrait photographer to understand how and where entrepreneurs and thought leaders will use these images on social media or other platforms.

John assesses all of this to deliver the best results possible. That’s how he creates lifestyle portraits that visually punctuate for brands.

The Importance of Being Yourself and Not Striving for Perfection

John says that although it sounds trite, it’s important to be yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin.

Yes, we hear this all the time but here’s what it means.

By being himself, John was able to open himself up because he wasn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind. This allows him to produce the best results possible for clients.

Don’t forget to get your back-end strategy in order.

The last thing you need to do is fumble around with your camera because your client will notice. This will kill any momentum you’ve created while building a rapport.

When you treat your equipment like an extension of yourself – and feel comfortable with yourself – your client will feel comfortable too.

In that scenario, everyone wins.

Retouch Your Images – But Strategically

John also points out that his mental health is more important than reaching an unattainable goal. That’s why he abandoned perfection a long time ago – there's no such thing.

So, does John retouch and edit his images?

Yes, but very strategically.

It’s important to remember the entire purpose behind lifestyle portraits for your brand: you want to appear authentic and professional.

In some cases, this might mean erasing a pimple or lightly brushing a wrinkle – but you still want to look like yourself.

The entire goal is to help build trust with your prospects.

You can’t do this if you look a certain way on LinkedIn but a client can’t recognize you when you meet in-person. Because whether or not people realize it on a conscious level, this does diminish trust.

How to Properly Leverage Lifestyle Portrait Photography

John says that lifestyle portraits are gold because they add social proof that you’re a thought leader. As you can imagine, the uses for these photos are endless.

Yes, they make great social media photos, print magazines, blog posts, and website headers, but they can do so much more.

John has shot countless photos of Ted Rubin at speaking engagements and other events. He’ll often see Ted throw some inspirational text over an incredible image where Ted’s body language is also telling a story.

That’s the lifestyle aspect of it – portraying yourself as you are in a professional manner.

How you leverage these photos to really get your vision and message out there is completely your call.

You can follow John DeMato on Instagram @DeMatoPhoto or visit his website.

About John DeMato

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John is a branded content creator who works with high-level, business leaders, thought leaders and various other change agents to produce high-volume, image libraries that present informational, entertaining and inspiring aspects of their brand to their followers.

Team Alignment – Why It’s Vital to the Success of Content Marketing


If you work with a marketing team – consider yourself fortunate.

Trying to take care of every marketing task on your own can be overwhelming. It can also be rather limiting. After all, just how many topics or different angles on an already well-covered topic can one person come up with?

When you have a team, though, you have an opportunity for greatness.

Some people might disagree with me, though, citing the fact that teams can suffer from egos, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings.

That’s definitely true. We’re all human and make mistakes and rub each other the wrong way. But at the end of the day, a marketing team that gets on the same page and works together can accomplish great things.

In fact, Margaret Magnarelli, the Senior Director of Marketing at, backs up that point. Her suggestion is to do all you can to ensure that your team is in proper alignment.


Start by Getting Clear on What Content Marketing Means to You

Getting aligned actually starts with you.

You need to be clear on what content marketing really means to you. Only then can you successfully express your thoughts and plans to your team and anyone else involved in the marketing and production of your product or service.

When Margaret and I spoke recently, she explained what content marketing means to her.

“I take a pretty broad stand…content marketing is a way that you use messaging across your organization – the traditional being the blog, your social channels, your site copy, sales enablement, customer service dialogue, conversation design – to engage with buyers, build relationships, and ultimately drive conversations and revenue. I think to do it right you have to be customer obsessed.”

Getting clear on what content marketing is to her has helped Margaret to convey her goals to her team. This is a great way to ensure that everyone is on the same page, which is an important step toward team alignment.

Team Alignment: Why It’s Imperative and 4 Steps to Make It Happen

If you want to be successful in business, you need to make sure everyone on your team is working for the same goals.

Some people think having a mission statement is enough to keep everyone on the same page. But really, it’s going to take consistent effort to make sure you’re always on the same page.

Margaret provided four tips that can help marketing teams to do this.

1. It All Starts With Adequate Training

When Margaret first started working for, she spent the first 90 days working very closely with her team. She spent a lot of one-on-one time with each team member so that they would understand how she worked, what she wanted to achieve, and what she expected from them.

You might thing 90 days is pretty impressive, but Margaret actually wishes she’d spent even more time training her team. The more time you spend with them, the better understanding there will be all around.

Spending time with your team members is an investment. You’re explaining to them how you’re all going to achieve success. And you’re doing so in a way that will allow them to be just as successful without you as with you right there beside them. (We all need vacations, after all!)

2. Incorporate the “How, Now, Wow” Content Strategy

One of the best ways to stay in alignment is to have a content concept plan. Margaret came up with a strategy that works really well for her team. It’s called “how, now, wow.” She and her team create content based on these three pillars.

  • How – This is “How To” content. It tends to be evergreen information and is meant to help readers overcome problems or achieve goals. You can use this content for blogs and newsletters.

  • Now – This is not evergreen content. Rather, it is now – of the moment, fresh, and modern. These are stories related to what’s trending in the news and entertainment worlds. This content can be used for blogs and social media posts.

  • Wow – These stories are shared mostly via social media. They tend to evoke an emotional response and are typically funny or touching.

These three pillars form the framework that helps your team think about what you’re doing and whether you’re serving your audience well.

3. Creative Freedom, Trust, and Delegation

Once everyone is on the same page, it’s vital that you learn to trust your team. Give them the creative freedom they need to thrive. Delegate projects to them without micromanaging them. Be open to suggestions and ideas, and let your team run with them to see if they work. Just make sure they stick to your basic guidelines.

4. Maintaining Regular Communication with Your Team and Other Departments

Regular creative meetings are a must. These meetings allow your team to bounce ideas off of each other to see what will work and what won’t. It gives everyone an opportunity to contribute, which is a great way to get different angles on stories/tips that have already been written about.

Additionally, it’s important to communicate with other departments that are involved in the creative process. Power point presentations are a great way to let graphic designers and videographers know what you want and why you want it that way.

You’re Not an Island – Success in Business Comes from Teamwork and Collaboration

Your number one goal as a business owner, marketer, or employee is the success of the company you’re working for. Every task you have, every product you make, every customer you serve – it’s all for the good of the company.

And the only way you can be truly successful is if you work well with your team.

As a business owner or marketer, you have a big job to do. Trying to do everything on your own is not the way to get it done.

Make sure your team is well aligned. Learn to trust their vision, inspiration, and efforts just as much as you trust your own.

When you do that, your team will enjoy the process and work even harder to ensure the success of your company.

We’re recognized as a top content marketing & copywriting company on DesignRush! Check us and other great content marketing companies out here!

If you’d like more tips from Margaret, make sure to follow her on Twitter. You’ll find her tweets completely inspiring.


About Margaret Magnarelli

Margaret Magnarelli is the managing editor for content and senior director of marketing at Monster, the leading global platform for connecting jobs and people. At Monster, Margaret oversees a brand newsroom made up of seven content creators (all ex-journalists) who produce articles, social assets and videos aimed at job seekers. Her team took home the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 award for Best Content Program and was a finalist for best infographic; she was a finalist for Content Marketer of the Year. Her team also was a finalist for Best In-House Content Studio from Digiday in 2016. She’s presented on content marketing at Content Marketing World and at an ANA Content Marketing Summit. Previously, Margaret served as executive editor at Money magazine and, and has been an editor at Good Housekeeping and Seventeen magazines as well. She’s written a book on tween idols, she’s expert in all things charcuterie, and she helped define the word snarky—no, seriously.

How to Market Your Small Business in Today’s Digital Space: Part II


The last time Paul Kortman came onto the Magnificent Marketing podcast, he had so much valuable information that we ran out of time. And yet, there was so much more that he had to offer.

Thankfully, he agreed to come back and offer some digital marketing strategies for small business owners.

If you’re not familiar with Paul’s work, he’s the owner of Connex Social. This is a digital marketing agency that specializes in increasing conversions and quality traffic. He is committed to achieving his client’s business goals through solid strategy and on-time tactics every single time.

And I have to say – the guy knows what he is talking about. The strategies he recommends are pure gold. Start implementing them and you’ll notice a change in your digital marketing results.



Paul Kortman Shares Five Strategies That Are Essential in Our Digital Space

In Part II of our conversation, Paul offers these five digital marketing strategies that small business owners will find are essential to their company’s growth and success.

1. Start Producing Videos Regularly

Video is becoming increasingly important in our digital age. More companies are utilizing this medium to get in front of potential customers and to establish themselves as experts in their field.

Something that I thought was especially interesting in our conversation was this: Paul doesn’t recommend switching over solely to video.

Some people have been doing this, thinking that it’s the wave of the future.

Well, they’re half right. Video marketing is one of the best ways to market your business. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone is a visual learner. Some people process information better by reading it, while others prefer audio content to visual.

It’s important to remember, too, that people can’t watch videos whenever they want to. If they’re at work or in a public place and don’t have ear buds/earphones, their best option is to read content.

So, the goal here is to offer a nice mix of digital content: Audio, video, and written content. Doing so allows you to appeal to a wider audience.

2. Make Introductory, Testimonial, and How To Videos

When you do make videos, though, what type should you make?

Paul pointed to some of the mistakes people make with video, like talking only about what the business does. Not only can this be an incredibly boring way to make a video, it doesn’t speak to what matters most to the customer: What’s in it for them.

Another mistake is making super long videos. In the world of digital marketing, a five minute video can seem like an eternity. People just don’t have the patience for that, especially when they’re just learning about a new company.

Paul offered the following tips.

·        Make an introductory video describing what your company can do for customers.

·        Keep your videos short. Introductory videos should be 30-60 seconds.

·        Create How To videos. For instance, a shoe repair shop could make a video about how to repair shoes. You may wonder, though – won’t this take business away from them? Actually, it’s the opposite. People may try their hand at the info in your video but realize they just aren’t good at it or don’t have the time for it. In other words, they learn that they’d rather pay someone (you!) to do the work for them.

3. LinkedIn Is a Golden Marketing Opportunity

The most interesting tip about LinkedIn that Paul shared with me was this: View your LinkedIn profile as a mini sales page as opposed to a resume. If you’re a coach, people who are looking for your type of services won’t care that you worked at McDonald’s when you were a teenager.

Make sure your profile shows potential customers what you can do for them, what value you can provide for them.

4. Collaborate with Other Business Owners

This doesn’t necessarily mean collaborate with your competition. Instead, collaborate with business owners who are in the same sphere, or similar network, as you. These are the folks who provide a product or service that your target audience would be interested in.

Collaboration is all about sharing. You do something for them, they do something for you.

You can collaborate by working on a webinar or podcast together, or writing guest blog posts. You will promote their content on your site, and they’ll promote yours on their site.

5. Encourage Your Clients to Write Online Reviews

Is your client happy with the work you did? Great – go outside of your comfort zone and ask for a review on or LinkedIn.

It can be intimidating to ask for a review, but think of it this way – they’re happy and most likely happy to tell others about you. And if they say no – fine. But the more you try, the more people will end up saying yes.

Keep Learning, Keep Growing As the Digital Market Evolves

Digital marketing is constantly evolving. It seems like only yesterday written content was the best way to reach potential clients. These days, it’s a mix of video, audio, and the written word.

In closing our conversation, I asked Paul about his predictions for the future of digital marketing. He told me that voice search is and will continue to be an important part of marketing.

With Siri and now Alexa, more people are searching for online information by speaking instead of typing. The technology isn’t perfect yet and can, at times, be somewhat frustrating. But technology is always changing and improving. At some point, the majority of online searches may be through one of these devices.

And that will change how we create digital content. Why? It’s simple – people tend to speak differently than they type. This will change how we utilize keywords and put information in front of people.

This is why it’s so important to keep educating yourself. We all need to do this. Learn what the trends are, and then find out how to utilize them in your business. Doing so will ensure that you always stay in front of your target market.

Do you want to get helpful tips about online marketing on a regular basis? Paul can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter. His posts will keep you up to date with the latest digital marketing trends



I’m just a regular guy. A follower of Jesus from Michigan in the US. My story is unique just like yours. This blog varies from stories about my family and struggles with raising our kids to helpful technical articles. This is just me in zeros and ones.